Bengals Flashback: 3 Big Moments vs. Vikings
By Eric Bruns
Dec. 22, 2013 – Bengals Defeat Vikings in Week 16 Earning Dalton His First Division Title
Andy Dalton was drafted in the second round with the 35th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. He was the Bengals’ second pick after taking A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick in the first round. Dalton found success quickly with Marvin Lewis.
Dalton and A.J Green became a dynamic duo. It looked like Dalton, Green, and Lewis might finally lead the Bengals to a postseason win and end the drought. Unfortunately, we know how that ends.
In 2011 the Bengals finished 9-7 and third in the AFC North. This was enough to secure a Wild Card spot, and they lost to the Texans on Wild Card weekend. In 2012 the Bengals finished second in the AFC North and earned the sixth seed for the second year in a row, and lost to the Texans on Wild Card weekend once again.
Then in 2013, Dalton and the Bengals became AFC North Champs, earning Dalton and Green their first AFC North title. This title came in Week 16 against the floundering Vikings, who were 4-9-1 when they met the Bengals in Cincinnati.
Going into Week 16, the Vikings were trying to avoid coming in last in the NFC North and failing. The Bengals at 9-5 were a game ahead of the Ravens at 8-6. The Steelers were a few games back at 5-8 and the Browns were still the Browns at that point and were in dead last at 4-10.
With a Ravens loss to the Patriots, all the Bengals had to do is win against the Vikings and Dalton could earn his first division title. Well, not only did they win but Dalton had a career day throwing for 363 yards and four touchdowns. The Bengals routed the Vikings 42-14. It was 28-7 at halftime and the Bengals never let off the gas.
Matt Cassel threw for 114 yards, one touchdown, and three picks, one turning into a pick-six by Vincent Rey. The Bengals had eight different pass catchers that day including six receivers with 10+ yards. Dalton never won a playoff game in Cincy, but he sure gave fans plenty to cheer about.
What do you think? Was there a moment between the Bengals and Vikings that I missed?